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A protest against government surveillance in Washington DC. Civil liberties groups denounced the FBIs move as brazen and potentially dangerous. Photograph: Xinhua /Landov/Barcroft Media

The FBI is attempting to persuade an obscure regulatory body in Washington to change its rules of engagement in order to seize significant new powers to hack into and carry out surveillance of computers throughout the US and around the world.

Civil liberties groups warn that the proposed rule change amounts to a power grab by the agency that would ride roughshod over strict limits to searches and seizures laid out under the fourth amendment of the US constitution, as well as violate first amendment privacy rights. They have protested that the FBI is seeking to transform its cyber capabilities with minimal public debate and with no congressional oversight.

The regulatory body to which the Department of Justice has applied to make the rule change, the advisory committee on criminal rules, will meet for the first time on November 5 to discuss the issue. The panel will be addressed by a slew of technology experts and privacy advocates concerned about the possible ramifications were the proposals allowed to go into effect next year.

This is a giant step forward for the FBIs operational capabilities, without any consideration of the policy implications. To be seeking these powers at a time of heightened international concern about US surveillance is an especially brazen and potentially dangerous move, said Ahmed Ghappour, an expert in computer law at University of California, Hastings college of the law, who will be addressing next weeks hearing.

The proposed operating changes related to rule 41 of the federal rules of criminal procedure, the terms under which the FBI is allowed to conduct searches under court-approved warrants. Under existing wording, warrants have to be highly focused on specific locations where suspected criminal activity is occurring and approved by judges located in that same district.

But under the proposed amendment, a judge can issue a warrant that would allow the FBI to hack into any computer, no matter where it is located. The change is designed specifically to help federal investigators carry out surveillance on computers that have been anonymized that is, their location has been hidden using tools such as Tor.

The amendment inserts a clause that would allow a judge to issue warrants to gain remote access to computers located within or outside that district (emphasis added) in cases in which the district where the media or information is located has been concealed through technological means. The expanded powers to stray across district boundaries would apply to any criminal investigation, not just to terrorist cases as at present.

Were the amendment to be granted by the regulatory committee, the FBI would have the green light to unleash its capabilities known as network investigative techniques on computers across America and beyond. The techniques involve clandestinely installing malicious software, or malware, onto a computer that in turn allows federal agents effectively to control the machine, downloading all its digital contents, switching its camera or microphone on or off, and even taking over other computers in its network.

This is an extremely invasive technique, said Chris Soghoian, principal technologist of the American Civil Liberties Union, who will also be addressing the hearing. We are talking here about giving the FBI the green light to hack into any computer in the country or around the world.

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FBI demands new powers to hack into computers and carry out surveillance

India’s government handed over the names of more than 600 Indians with foreign bank accounts to the Supreme Court on Wednesday after public outrage over rampant tax evasion.

The court, which ordered the government to release the list, has given the names to an investigative team that the government set up in June to find the illegal funds that tax dodgers have parked overseas.

The court set a deadline of March 31 next year for the team to complete its probe and begin legal action against tax evaders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he wants to prosecute tax dodgers and bring money stashed in tax havens back into the country but little progress has been made since his landslide election victory earlier this year.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said 627 people are named on the list. They all had accounts with a Geneva branch of HSBC, information that was disclosed in 2011 by an employee of the bank and passed to India but not acted on by the previous government. They are likely a tiny fraction of Indians with foreign bank accounts.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, India’s equivalent of the FBI, said in 2012 that $500 billion was held by Indians in tax havens overseas. Funds are stashed in tax havens such as Liechtenstein, British Virgin Islands, Switzerland, Mauritius, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

India has a flourishing “black money” economy that functions parallel to the legal economy. Undeclared income is used to fund election campaigns and buy land or real estate in order to avoid paying property taxes.

On Monday, the government disclosed the names of seven people who it said had illegal accounts abroad. That led to widespread outrage, prompting the court to step in and order the government to reveal all the names that it had.

The government told the court that it was committed to disclosing the names of people holding money abroad illegally. In an affidavit, the government said that since every account held by an Indian in a foreign country may not be illegal, it would investigate the accounts before disclosing the names of account holders.

India’s anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal said the special investigative team should carry out its probe in a rigorous and timely manner and that government action against tax evaders must be uniform.

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Govt to Probe Indians With Foreign Bank Accounts

NSA spied Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff
Brazilian TV – English subtitle available. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff lambasted US spying on her country at Tuesday's UN summit, calling it a breach of international law. She further…

By: Andrzej Sitz

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NSA spied Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff – Video


What a week Ive had! I was asked to sit on the panel of BBC3s live debate show, Free Speech, alongside Alistair Campbell (Former Director of Communications for Tony Blair), Dr Sarah Wollaston (Chair of the Health Select Committee) and Jon Ronson (the Author of Psychopath Test). The show is a wonderfully inspiring platform for young people to share their stories and challenge the opinions of those on the panel and in the audience.

Our topics of discussion were Mental Health, the Ched Evans rape case and Tuition Fees in the UKas you can imagine we had one of the most interesting, thought provoking and passionate debates of the series. I suffered quite badly from anorexia in my early 20s but have since recovered and Im now an ambassador from BEAT, the biggest UK based eating disorders charity. One of the things that struck me so strongly was how many young people in this country are suffering from mental illness and how they feel they are being failed by our health care system. One young guy in the audience told how hes been waiting for six months to see someone after he attempted suicide. Its shocking and quite frankly disgraceful that anyone should have such a lack of support. Im determined to try and get mental health taught in schools alongside physical education. One in four people will suffer from some sort of mental health problem as an adult and maybe that astonishing number would come down if we started teaching our young people to talk openly about their illness. It really was a career highlight for me and I was totally inspired by the bravery of the teenagers in the audience. And who says young people arent engaged?!

Ive also been covering for Essex dancing queen, Mark Wright, on his Club Classics show on Heart for the last month. Hes currently in Strictly Come Dancing so Im keeping his seat warm on Saturday nights from 7-9pm, playing all the biggest dance floor fillers to get you up and dancing on that kitchen table! I really love being part of the Heart family and its a joy to record every week. Plus it means I get to bump into two of the nicest women in showbiz, Emma Bunton and Jenni Falconer, they give the best hugs.

On Thursday I took to the decks to play some tunes at my beautiful and clever friend, Ashley Jamess, luxury bracelet launch, Whistle & Bango. Theyre basically bangles that you can personalise with your favourite London postcode.

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Matt and Zoe blog: Free Speech and Sherlock Holmes

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (UPI) — The U.S. and NATO congratulated Ukraine for holding successful parliamentary elections on Sunday.

According to a preliminary assessment released by the OSCE’s International Election Observatory Mission, the elections “were transparent and assessed positively overall.”

The OSCE, U.S., and NATO recognized that unrest in Ukraine’s eastern region and the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula by Russia had impacted the ability of all Ukrainians to participate in Sunday’s election.

“Despite a challenging security environment in certain regions, millions of Ukrainians turned out across the country to cast their ballots in an orderly and peaceful manner,” President Barack Obama remarked Monday.

Secretary of State John Kerry applauded Kiev for its voter outreach to embattled areas, notably in Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk.

“Their hard work to provide for alternate voting arrangements, including for internally displaced persons, was a particularly laudable effort to overcome actions by Russian authorities occupying Crimea and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine to prevent voters from exercising their democratic rights.”

Obama included a message intended for Moscow in his congratulatory statement:

“I call on Russia to ensure that its proxies in eastern Ukraine allow voters in the parts of Donetsk and Luhansk subject to the Special Status Law to choose their representatives in legitimate local elections on December 7, in keeping with the agreement that Russia and separatist representatives signed in Minsk, Belarus, on September 5, 2014.”

NATO Secretary Genera Jens Stoltenberg applauded Ukrainians for embracing “an ambitious reform agenda and a European path. I welcome their determination to further promote an inclusive political process based on democratic values and respect for human rights, minorities and the rule of law.”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s bloc was the clear winner in Sunday’s election, followed by Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front. Both parties are pro-European and support further Ukranian integration with the European Union.

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U.S., NATO applaud Ukraine for holding successful parliamentary elections

DPM says laws to prevent seditious statements must be maintained.

MELAKA: It is important for laws to prevent incitement such as the Sedition Act be maintained to enable the authorities to take stern action against any quarters who made statements which hurt the feelings of the countrys multiracial and multi-religious society.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin who said this, stated that even if the Act were to be amended, the amendments should strengthen the role of the Act in protecting important matters that were enshrined in the Federal Constitution and in preventing seditious actions from becoming rampant.

I welcome the views of many parties including former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad who wants the Act to be improved by including a provision on Islam so that its position as the federal religion would not be wantonly questioned by irresponsible parties. Muhyiddin said this in his speech when opening the 15th Malay World Islamic World (DMDI) Convention with the theme, Moderation the Foundation of Unity of the Ummah, here, tonight.

Also present were Melaka Yang Dipertua Negeri Mohd Khalil Yaakob, Menteri Besar Idris Haron and DMDI president Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam.

Muhyiddin said the Act should also protect other religions from being insulted by any quarters.

He said the governments experience in managing race relations in Malaysia all this while showed the existence of comprehensive laws in curbing seditious actions, which was important to preserve peace and harmony.

Laws such as this (Sedition Act) are control mechanisms used as a last resort when certain parties cast aside compromise and racial tolerance, which have been the foundation for unity in this country.

In fact, other countries with a plural society such as Singapore have the same law and until today they dont intend to abolish it, he said.

The deputy prime minister said the views of some quarters that the existence of the law (Sedition Act) suppressed freedom of expression was incorrect.

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Free speech and seditious speech two different things

Time Posted: October 27, 2014 1:24 pm

File:A surviving freedom fighter Abel Mulenga sings song during the Commemoration of African Freedom Day in Kasama.

Freedom fighters in Shawangandu district of Muchinga province have called on Government to look into the plight of freedom fighters that are still alive and wallowing in poverty.

Chileshe Chali, a Shiwangandu-based freedom fighter, said most of the freedom fighters have remained poor because their livelihood base was destroyed by colonialists during the independence struggle.

Mr Chali further urged government to also consider the plight of surviving families of the fallen heroes who died in the course of fighting for independence so that the blood they shed would not have been spilt in vain.

He was speaking on behalf of other freedom fighters at the commemoration of the Golden Jubilee independence anniversary on Friday.

The event was celebrated under the theme Commemorating God`s favour of Zambia 50 years of Independence for continued Peace, Unity, Patriotism and prosperity.

Mr Chali, however, appreciated government for fulfilling desires that the freedom fighters had of public services such as abundant schools and health institutions country wide once the country got independence.

The Golden Jubilee event was officiated by Shiwang`andu Member of Parliament (MP) Stephen Kampyongo.

Mr Kampyongo said it is gratifying to see that the Zambian economy has continued to register positive growth rate over the past 50 years.

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Freedom fighters appeal for poverty emancipation

For all fans of Christopher ‘Batman’ Nolan, here’s good news The versatile actor will be in Mumbai on December 28 to attend IIT Bombay’s coveted festival ‘Mood Indigo’.

The first event of Mood Indigo, IIT Bombay’s Illuminati 2014 is out and will be attended by Christopher Nolan. The news was announced according to a post by IIT Bombay’s Mood Indigo on their Facebook page.

The 2013 edition of Mood Indigo witnessed a footfall of more than 1,04,000 students from more than 1500 colleges from across the country. It was started in 1971 by a group of enthusiastic IITians and Mood Indigo is now in its 44th edition according to entries in Wikipedia.

Originally posted here:
Christopher Nolan to visit Mumbai, set to attend IIT Bombay's Mood Indigo festival

Oct 272014

Posted: Sunday, October 26, 2014 10:57 pm

Letter: The Second Amendment Philip Jones, junior in computer science

More people need education about the Second Amendment and why the Second Amendment was created in the first place. The Founding Fathers created the Second Amendment as a means to protect the peoples rights throughout future generations. They also created the Second Amendment to be prepared for the next revolution. However, gun control laws are taking these rights away. The more gun control laws on the books, the weaker our country gets. Gun-free zones right here at North Carolina State and other colleges is not only an infringement of our law-abiding rights, but it also makes the campus more unsafe. Campus police is a great resource to have. However, they can only respond so quickly. Concealed carry should be supported on campus, not feared. There have been no incidents since the gun rights in-car campus gun laws were passed. About 99 percent of concealed carry permit holders are law-abiding citizens because criminals will not go through the process to get a concealed carry. Having concealed carry on campus would make our campus and other colleges safer. Off campus, the worst thing to hear is people saying, The Founding Fathers only had muskets. Well, that is also saying the First Amendment should only apply to print media and not television or the Internet. The same applies to the Second Amendment, such as AR-15s and AK-47s. I would hate to see the day when the next revolution comes to our home country and we are unprepared because of tyranny from our lawmakers. Too many people died for the freedom of the Second Amendment, and my generation and future generations are the only people who can be more educated about our Constitution, and stop tyranny from the government.

Posted in Opinion, Letters to editor on Sunday, October 26, 2014 10:57 pm.

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Letter: The Second Amendment

KABUL, Afghanistan The international military coalition said Sunday it would continue to provide air support to Afghan forces after the scheduled end of combat operations in December, even as it shuttered a major regional command in the violent Helmand province.

Maj. Paul Greenberg, a spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, said in a statement to Stars and Stripes that cooperation with the Afghan police and military after the transition to Afghan control “will include continued aviation support” by the coalition.

The framework for the continued air support was laid out in a recent agreement between Afghanistan and NATO, said Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi.

“According to our new agreement, the NATO air forces will support Afghan security forces until the Afghan air force is sufficient,” he told Stripes in a phone interview. He said the current goal is to have the Afghan air force fully operational by 2016.

That news came as the United Kingdom essentially ended its combat mission in Afghanistan by handing over control of Camp Bastion to the Afghan forces in Helmand. Neighboring Camp Leatherneck was also formally transferred, signaling that the mission for U.S. Marines in the province is also nearing its end.

The planned American drawdown announced by President Barack Obama calls for about 9,800 U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan next year for a “noncombat train, advise, and assist mission.” Other NATO partners have pledged to send about 2,000 troops. It is not clear whether coalition air forces will be counted in those numbers.

Continuing violence in the country has led the Afghan government to retain a massive national security force and to seek additional support from NATO.

There has been much speculation about the exact nature of future international military backing. Now ISAF says combat aviation forces may be part of that support.

While he said the past two years have seen “exponential growth of the Afghan Air Force and the ability of the ANSF to operate independently,” Greenberg said military support will continue.

“Upon the request of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), the International Security Assistance Force has provided robust aviation support to the ANSF throughout Helmand Province in the form of close air support and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft,” he said in the statement to Stripes. “This support has been provided consistently over the past two years. Upon request of the ANSF, NATO will continue to provide aviation support to Afghan forces during Resolute Support.”

NATO promises Afghans air support after 2014 as it shuts key base

Hopes are rising that multinational companies operating in New Zealand may soon be paying a fairer share of tax.

The French official leading the global clampdown on multinational tax rorts says the scrapping of the notorious “double Irish” tax loophole shows aggressive tax planning is on the way out.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tax director Pascal Saint-Amans said tax planning had become the core strategy of some companies, which were competing on how much tax they could avoid rather than on the quality of their products.

Speaking to Fairfax Media from Paris, Saint-Amans said the environment was changing. But he said new moves by some countries, including Ireland, to offer companies tax breaks on profits that were derived from patents had the potential to undermine progress, if rules concerning the concessions were not made clear.

Saint-Amans is in charge of the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit-Shifting (Beps) programme. It was established with the support of the G20 last year to prevent multinationals exploiting gaps in international law to dodge tax.

The Beps project appeared to chalk up an early victory recently when Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan announced the country would call time on the double-Irish rort by 2020.

Companies including Google, Apple, Facebook, Starbucks and Pfizer are reported to have routed billions of dollars of profits to Caribbean tax havens using the loophole, which exploits the fact that companies can be registered in Ireland but not deemed resident in the country for tax purposes.

Ireland’s decision showed the Beps project was being taken seriously and a game-changer, Saint-Amans said.

“It is a recognition that the environment has changed and that tax planning will not be as it used to be in the future. Companies should of course optimise and should plan, but to reduce marginally the tax burden, not to massively reduce it as the core element of their strategy,” he said.

Angst over multinational tax rorts has been bubbling in New Zealand for several years, aided by a Dominion Post report in 2010 that Google New Zealand expected to pay just $7726 tax in respect of its previous financial year, less than the average teacher or construction worker. Bloomberg put the international spotlight on Google’s tax affairs in 2010 when it reported that the internet search giant paid just 2.4 per cent tax on the billions it earned outside the United States.

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Multinationals feeling heat on tax rorts

Oct 262014

Oak Bay XC Islands 2014
Vancouver Island Cross Country Running Championship. October 23, 2014. Oak Bay High School Cross Country Team.

By: ethelralph1234

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Oak Bay XC Islands 2014 – Video

Oct 262014

Pristine islands off WA that harbour threatened species often found nowhere else in the world are at an unacceptable risk of being invaded by foreign pests, one of the State’s leading biologists has warned.

Andrew Burbidge told a Senate committee investigating environmental biosecurity arrangements in Australia there was a lack of a “co-ordinated” plan for keeping out feral animals and plants from the country’s islands.

Dr Burbidge, a former public servant who advises State and Federal governments, said the shortcoming was not good enough given Australia’s “appalling” record of extinction.

He held up Christmas Island as a salutary lesson, saying the biosecurity performance there had been “shockingly inadequate” and led to the loss of many of its unique species.

He said unless governments set up a system to enable them to prioritise islands based on their environmental value and vulnerability to pest invasion, there was a risk of similar events happening again.

A spokeswoman for WA’s Department of Parks and Wildlife noted the role many of the State’s 3474 islands played as “arks” for threatened plants and animals.

The spokeswoman also pointed out the agency had been involved in many programs to eradicate pests from islands, including one under way on Dirk Hartog Island off the Gascoyne.

“The department is two years into a project that is working towards developing a prioritisation model for biosecurity measures for WA islands,” she said.

Noting that most pests could not swim and were invariably brought to islands inadvertently on boats, Dr Burbidge recommended further regulation and education.

He said resource or tourist companies that visited islands should need to prepare quarantine plans, citing oil giant Chevron’s example on Barrow Island as a model.

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Pests threaten WA islands

Editor’s note: Salon has posted numerous critiques of libertarianism. This response was one of several we received offering a different view. (For more of our coverage on the topic, please see here.)

The Koch brothers have marvelous taste in art. That was the first thought that raced across my mind as I strode down the bustling hallway of one of the most secretive and influential buildings in American politics. Slipped against a wall of churning rural winds and rolling wheat fields, Koch Industries the media-christened Death Star of contemporary libertarian insurrection was the last place I ever intended to visit. Six years earlier I was serving time in a West Coast county jail, not defending public choice theory. But trial and error will do strange things to a politically inclined and introspective desperado.

I dont just break the libertarian mold, I napalm it. Im Hispanic. I live below the poverty line. I joined a gang by 15, dropped out of high school by 17, and spent the first half of my 20s playing guitar in a raucous punk band. Yet despite how unconventional my background might seem, it unmistakably epitomizes just how diverse the broader libertarian movement has become over a relatively short burst of time, even as archaic perceptions in the media and public continue to stubbornly linger.

Following my release from jail I enrolled in community college and worked hard to account for misplaced time. Eventually I earned a speech communication scholarship and admittance into a number of highly regarded universities, including my dream school the University of California-Berkeley. It was the moment I had been waiting for. But by the time I procured housing in Oakland, old inclinations began to take hold. I knew that if I remained in California I would either gravitate back toward the violent gang world, or the drug-laden music world, I knew so well.

So I made a drastic decision. At the last minute I instead took up an offer from the most conservative school in the most conservative state in the country Brigham Young University in Utah. The education was superb, but the social setting was difficult. I stood out on campus with all my tattoos. I was irritable because I had agreed to abstain from alcohol and sex. And though students and faculty always treated me with dignity and respect, I sometimes had trouble relating to people.

Eventually I stumbled across a libertarian student group at a separate university across town. From there I attended a number of events, made a few new friends and began perusing literature from prominent free-market philosophers such as Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman and Ludwig von Mises all of whom contested everything I thought I knew about Republicans, Democrats and government.

The limited government message appealed to me. I recalled playing in a band and struggling to comply with overbearing tax laws. I remembered serving time with low-level drug offenders convicted under mandatory minimum sentencing laws. I thought back to the Mexican communities I had grown up in and the undocumented immigrants I knew who had been forced into a life of obscurity because of convoluted immigration policies. The assortment of unique experiences I had taken in over time suddenly swiveled full circle.

Within a year I was organizing full time and attending dinners with governors, prominent activists and presidential candidates such as Ron Paul. Eventually I returned to the West Coast to finish school. From there I was introduced to a number of Koch-funded organizations. The opportunities these organizations presented would prove invaluable. As a student, I interned through various summer programs. As a writer, I wrote for various websites and journals. And as a speaker, I spoke to various groups.

The libertarian movement never judged me because of my background. Though I was still rough around the edges, I was embraced and provided with more tools and opportunities to improve myself than I knew what to do with. These organizations not only helped hone my innate abilities, but taught me the value of tolerance and restraint (Im still working on the latter).

Ultimately, libertarianism didnt radicalize me, it moderated me. As a wayward teen I once adored revolutionaries like Che Guevara and took part in violent and destructive protests. I smashed windows of private businesses and helped overturn police cars in my misplaced animosity toward legal constructs and trade. Later I abandoned my progressive leanings and explored conservatism. I supported the war in Iraq and brandished an American flag in a clich spectacle of nationalism and machismo. Like most libertarians, I paddled both ends of the whirling political waters in search of something, anything, that put the puzzle pieces together.

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My unusual libertarian journey: How a former outlaw broke the political mold

Zuma reaffirms freedom of expression in SA
20 October 2014 – President Jacob Zuma has reaffirmed the country's commitment to freedom of expression, 37 years since so-called Black Wednesday. He met members of the media in Pretoria on…

By: eNCAnews

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Zuma reaffirms freedom of expression in SA – Video


Editor’s note: James Stavridis is dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and former supreme allied commander at NATO. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author

(CNN) — Recent developments off the coast of Sweden raise many questions, and we do not as yet have answers.

Last week, Swedish media reported that the country’s military was searching for an underwater vessel, possibly a Russian submarine, after an emergency radio transmission allegedly made in Russian (although Russia has denied it has any vessels in Swedish waters).

James Stavridis

Now, as the Swedish Navy continues to search for the unidentified undersea vessel that may have penetrated the country’s territorial waters, it’s worth keeping in mind some key facts to help place the issue in perspective.

For a start, anti-submarine warfare is complex and very difficult to execute properly. Especially in the close confines of territorial waters, the advantages tend to accrue to the submarine. The rocky floor of an inland sea like the Baltic can mask acoustic signatures that give watching ships, helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft the ability to track and identify a subsurface contact.

Second, this is happening against the backdrop of the Swedish Navy and Air Force having suffered significant budget cuts over the past decades. As a general proposition, the Swedes have a capable and professional force. But since the end of the Cold War, they have not invested heavily in anti-submarine warfare capability.

They are not alone in this regard — many of the other European nations have likewise cut back in this area given a sense that anti-submarine warfare was something they would have needed against the USSR during the Cold War but less so during pre-Ukrainian crisis days with Russia.

And although Sweden is not a NATO member, meaning this operation is a national effort, it is a very strong partner to NATO and has been involved deeply in positive ways in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Libya and other operations. Yet the fact remains that there is no treaty obligation on the part of NATO to be involved. If the Swedes ask for help, it is likely that NATO would respond, but to date they have not done so.

Opinion: NATO should aid in Swedish search

Papantonio: How Florida Elected A Criminal Governor
This segment originally aired on the October 19th, 2014 episode of Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV. Florida is one of the most important swing states in the country, and conservative money…

By: Ring of Fire Radio

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Papantonio: How Florida Elected A Criminal Governor – Video

Cryptocurrency may be the future, but it lives in what is, for many, still a cash world.

So while bitcoin advocates push for ways to encourage people to use the digital form of payment, they also must meet consumers and their wallets where they are.

A company that plans to install as many as 100 bitcoin ATMs by year’s end installed the region’s first of the machines Monday night at Fells Point bar Bad Decisions. More are planned for Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and Amtrak stations, Wal-Marts and 7-Eleven stores around the region.

While usage of bitcoin is still low even at establishments like Bad Decisions, a well-known early adopter of technology and social media advocates hope the ATMs will make it easier for technophiles to give bitcoin a try.

“It’s going to be an easy entry point for consumers to actually get bitcoins,” said Josh Riddle, CEO and co-founder of Bitsie, a Baltimore startup that works with brick-and-mortar stores to help them accept bitcoin payments.

Otherwise, the virtual currency exists solely online. A public ledger system tracks who owns which bitcoins, each of which was worth about $380 as of Monday. Most bitcoin users get them by buying them on one of a host of online exchanges, or by accepting them for goods or services being sold. Bitcoin “miners” generate new bitcoins by helping to process and verify bitcoin transactions.

The currency is not backed or controlled by any government, but its advocates say it is safer than traditional money. The transactions are secured by “military grade cryptography,” according to the Bitcoin Foundation, and the codes that are assigned to bitcoins that verify a person’s ownership can be stored on devices that don’t remain connected to the Internet, protecting them from hackers.

But uncertainty over the safety and future of bitcoins has contributed to wild swings in their value. Bitcoins, which can be divided in pieces down to eight decimal places, have lost two-thirds of their value since hitting a peak of nearly $1,150 apiece in December 2013.

Bitcoin ATMs allow users to quickly use cash to buy bitcoins or to turn their bitcoins into bills. There are only about two dozen around the country; until Monday, the closest ones to Baltimore were in New York, Chapel Hill, N.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

The North Carolina-based company Coin Outlet installed the machine at Bad Decisions, a logical choice because it is the site of a regular meetup of bitcoin enthusiasts, Coin Outlet CEO Eric Grill said. But the plan is to go well beyond the bar Coin Outlet has a relationship with Locant Services, a company that operates kiosks for payphones, ATMs and other services at 100,000 locations across the country.

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Cryptocurrency meets cash at new bitcoin ATM in Fells Point

Hearing echoes of Berkeley in student activism today
In 1964, the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley, became the first large-scale campus student movement in the country. The demonstrations set the stage for the anti-Vietn…

By: PBS NewsHour

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Hearing echoes of Berkeley in student activism today – Video

In Colvard Student Union. MSU’s African-American Studies program hosts the event. Includes remarks from Freedom Summer volunteers, students, activists, photographers and scholars. Registration required.

More than 900 brave, determined and resilient volunteers flooded Mississippi in 1964 for the Freedom Summer Project, and Mississippi State University is celebrating that effort’s impact on equality and human rights.

The Freedom Summer Project called volunteers, mostly northern white college students, to launch the drive to register blacks to vote in Mississippi, the state with the lowest percentage of black voters at that time. After Freedom Summer activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwermer were murdered in June by the Ku Klux Klan for registering Neshoba County blacks to vote, national outcry led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“Remembering Freedom Summer: Building a Better Future” will be held at MSU Oct. 19-21 in Colvard Student Union. While the conference is free and open to the public, participants should register in advance at

Numerous Freedom Summer volunteers, students, activists and photographers will speak, as well as recognized scholars from MSU and other universities all over the country.

Plenary sessions include:

–Oct. 20, 8 a.m., “Remembering Freedom Summer.” Freedom Summer students and volunteers speaking will be 1961 Freedom Rider and Freedom Summer activist Dave Dennis, Freedom Summer volunteer Chude Allen, Freedom Summer volunteer Mark Levy, Freedom Summer organizer Doris Derby, Colum Law Firm attorney and founder Wilbur Colom, Freedom Summer organizer Hollis Watkins and Freedom Summer activist Anthony Harris, as well as Starkville Vice Mayor Roy A Perkins. Finance and economics professor Meghan J. Millea will chair and College of Arts & Sciences Dean Gregory Dunaway will offer the welcome. Charles E. Cobb Jr., visiting professor of African Studies at Brown University, will moderate.

–Oct. 20, 1 p.m., “Plenary Session B.” Featured speakers will be MSU African-American Studies Senior Fellow K.C. Morrison, MSU President Mark E. Keenum, Tougaloo College President Beverly Hogan, former Mississippi Gov. William Winter and Freedom Summer volunteer Chude Allen.

–Oct. 21, 8 a.m., “Freedom Summer: Building a Better Future.” Academics and activists in the panel will be The Montgomery Institute President Bill Scaggs, Florida A&M University assistant professor Kristal Moore Clemons, Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater College of Arts and Communication Dean Mark McPhail, Dave Dennis, Wilbur Colom and Mercer University professor Anthony J. Harris. WCBI-TV news anchor and reporter Andrea Self will chair, and MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert will offer the welcome. Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman will give remarks, and Cobb will moderate.

Other distinguished speakers will be authors Susan Follett, Francoise Hamlin, Michael Williams and Flonzie Brown Wright, along with additional Freedom Summer students and volunteers Roy DeBerry, Roscoe Jones, Larry Rubin and Gloria Clark. Academic speakers will represent University of Florida, University of Texas, College of Charleston, University of North Carolina, Alcorn State University and Miami University.

Excerpt from:
Remembering Freedom Summer: Building a Better Future

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